The Fishing Line
Short Story Day 65 of 365
Charlie Baker cast his line into the City pond and heard the satisfying plop of the sinker hitting the water. He propped up his pole, went to the large shade tree 10 feet away, sat down, and took out his book.
There was little chance Baker would catch anything because that little pond had been fished out by City people throughout the year. When they had nothing to do, they’d bring their whole family and fish the pond. In all the time Charlie had been coming to the pond, he’d only seen one fish pulled out, but it didn’t stop dozens of others coming to the pond each week.
Charlie hadn’t been reading more than 20 minutes when a uniformed man with a Game Warden patch on his upper arm approached him.
“Afternoon,” the warden said.
“Afternoon.” Charlie said, glancing up at the warden but quickly returning to his book.
“Nice day for fishing.”
“Can I see your fishing license?” the warden asked.
Charlie sighed. “Nope. Don’t got one. Don’t need one as far as I can tell. I’m not fishing.”
The warden looked over at the pole leaning up against his cooler and took out his ticket book.
“What do you call that over there?”
“A fishing pole. Rod and reel, cheap ones though.”
“Can I see your driver’s license?”
“Why? Have I done something wrong?”
“Are you trying to be wise with me, Mister?”
“No, just want to know what I’ve done wrong.”
“It is illegal to fish this pond without a proper fishing license issued by the State.”
“Right, and as I told you before, I’m not fishing.”
“Just because you haven’t caught anything doesn’t mean you’re not fishing. Reel it in now or I will call the City police and have you formally arrested.”
Baker looked up at the warden and shook his head. “Ok, if you insist.” Charlie put his book down and picked up his rod and began reeling it in.
He pulled the line out of the water and showed the warden. “See, Warden, no hook and no bait, sinker only. Absolutely zero chance of catching anything, except maybe flak from local authorities who don’t understand a man’s need to get away and act like he’s fishing.”